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O'Connor worry for Cup final

LIAM BUCKLEY hopes to have St Patrick's Athletic star man Sean O'Connor available for the FAI Cup final showdown with Derry City next month.

O'Connor was dismissed, along with opposing captain Danny Ventre, in the dying minutes of Saturday's league game at the Showgrounds where Sligo secured the league title. The game ended the Saints' hopes of a league success, with a 3-2 win, Mark Quigley netting the winner with a controversial penalty after Conor Kenna was deemed to have handled in the box.

O'Connor was aggrieved when, following a stop in play due to an injury, Rovers midfielder Danny Ventre claimed possession from a drop ball and sent a pass upfield to create a scoring chance when Pat's felt they should have been allowed to regain possession.

Ventre and O'Connor clashed in the aftermath and referee Damien Hancock showed both a red card, and while a resulting suspension will not worry Ventre -- Sligo's last two games of the season are meaningless as they have the league won -- there were fears that a ban could cost O'Connor a place in the final on November 4.

"Sean was sent off with a second yellow card so I'd hope he'll be available for the Cup final," said Buckley, disappointed that his side's faint title hopes ended.

"We didn't lose the league on Saturday, you win or lose it over a season. It would have been great for us, and for the league, if we had kept it going for another week or two but it wasn't to be.

"We are disappointed with how the day panned out. We didn't turn up for the first half but we got back into it in the second half, we scored two goals and hit the post twice, but the penalty was very soft," said Pat's boss Buckley. "There's not much Conor Kenna could have done."